- The African Development Fund (ADF) today boosts Burundi's economic reform after it has showered a total loan of US$ 10.8 million to the country. This news will be greeted with joy in Burundi because it will set the country to stabilise its economy and ensure good conditions of living for its citizens.
The lives of most Burundians had been turned apart by a civil war that left its mark on every strata of sector of their country - economy, education, health, among others.
In its attempts to repair the damage caused by the war, the Burundian government this year started a two-year economic reform programme. Supported by the IMF's Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF), the programme wais designed to ensure macro-economic adjustment and stabilisation with the implementation of structural reforms aimed at reducing poverty.
Burundi's economic reform includes the public finance, monetary and exchange policy as well as structural reforms, notably a coffee sector reform. It also entails a privatisation programme, transparency and good governance.
ADF officials restricted the Burundian government to wisely use the loan to strengthen its public finance management and private sector development.
"These two areas have been chosen because of their expected impact on economic recovery, which is conditional on the successful implementation of the poverty reduction strategy. The option complements activities by the other donors, notably the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Union," read the ADF press statement.
ADF observed that Burundi's external financing requirements for 2006-2008 were estimated at US$ 1,350 million, which were essentially due to the current deficit of about US$ 1,174 million, which represents 87 percent.
Burundi also has a debt amortisation of US$ 106 million, outstanding foreign debt of US$ 5.6 million and replenishment of reserves of US$ 63.8 million.
The identified financing for the programme period, amounting to US$ 1,186 million, was said to cover nearly 87.9 percent of the requirements, which obliged Bujumbura to mobilise additional resources from development partners to finance the residual financing gap estimated at US$ 163.6 million.
Burundi has recorded significant gains in the political arena by establishing democratic institutions in August 2005 and consolidating the peace process, which enhanced the implementation of strategic macroeconomic and structural reforms. These are said to have improved the country's economic outlook.
However, ADF did not approve major delays in implementing structural reforms, notably the state's divestiture from the productive and financial sectors. It also raised concerns about the slow implementation of institutional reforms to strengthen the laws and regulations governing the private sector.
In order to consolidate the gains it has made and reduce its poverty ratio, ADF asked Burundi to concentrate on its reforms' implementation.
In a separate development, the ADF today approved US$ 29.6 million for Uganda to tackle problems in its ailing health sector. The ADF loan was set to finance 90 percent of the total project cost while the government of Uganda provides the remaining ten percent.
And according to ADF officials, the five year project aimed to reduce maternal mortality in selected districts in Uganda. The loan was also to bolster the country's efforts to reduce mental health disorders. The project's maternal health targets women of child-bearing age, especially in the western region, which has a high population growth rate of 2.8 percent annually.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.